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  • Date :
  • 7/21/2008

Obama Arrives In Afghanistan


US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has arrived in Afghanistan.

An aide confirmed Senator Obama had landed at Kabul airport.

Robert Gibbs, said Mr Obama left the United States on Thursday and stopped first in Kuwait, where he visited troops.

Before departing for the trip in which he will also visit Iraq, Mr Obama told reporters he expected to do a lot of listening.

"I want to, obviously, talk to the commanders and get a sense, both in Afghanistan and in Baghdad of... what... their biggest concerns are," he said.

"And I want to thank our troops for the heroic work that they've been doing."

senator Obama has called for about 7,000 extra US troops in Afghanistan and a shift from what he said was a "single-minded" focus on Iraq by the Bush administration.

He has also called for the removal of US combat troops from Iraq within 16 months.

The US has about 36,000 troops in Afghanistan. Some 17,500 form part of a 53,000-strong Nato-led force that is tackling rising insurgent violence. The senator is also planning to stop next week in Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and Britain.

He is trying to counter accusations by Senator John McCain, his Republican rival in the November 4 election, that he lacks the foreign-policy experience to serve as commander-in-chief.


Asked whether he would have some tough talk for Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Iraqi President Nuri al Maliki, Mr Obama said: "I'm more interested in listening than doing a lot of talking.

"And I think it is very important to recognise that I'm going over there as a US senator."We have one president at a time, so it's the president's job to deliver those messages."

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